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Fast Backward
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David Patneaude | 9 comments Fast Backward’s June 1 release was accompanied and greeted by some wonderful reviews (see below). I’m beyond pleased at how readers welcomed my new “baby” and how many folks showed up at the launch party on June 16 to celebrate. It would be great (and great for sales) if the party could keep going.

One way for that to happen is if people who read and enjoy the book could post reviews or at least ratings in reader-oriented cyberspaces like Goodreads, Amazon, iTunes/iBooks,, etc.

If you’re one of the millions of readers who haven’t yet purchased Fast Backward, now is the time. The price of the e-book version has been dropped to $4.99, the cost of a cup of fancy coffee. But the reduction is temporary. So buy it and review it and let’s keep the buzz buzzing.

Praise for Fast Backward:

“David Patneaude has done it again with this explosive anti-war book to end all anti-war books. It is a terrific read from the first word to the last.”—Roland Smith, acclaimed author of Thunder Cave, Peak, Zach’s Lie, and many other popular books for young readers

“Fast Backward is not only a page-turning, heart-stopping glimpse into an alternate outcome to WWII, it is a thought-provoking take on choices being made in contemporary times. Cocoa is an unforgettable character, fighting hard against the current of history.”—Kirby Larson, author of Newbery honoree Hattie Big Sky, the Audacity Jones books, and many other award winners.

“One July morning in 1945, 15-year-old paperboy Bobby Hastings witnesses an atomic bomb explosion and rescues a naked 16-year-girl beside the road. And that’s just for openers. The girl claims to be from the future. Says we didn’t win World War II after all. Predicts utter doom and destruction if the United States Government doesn’t take action immediately. Fast Backward is a high-stakes, tense tale about two gritty young people from different centuries who take on the impossible challenge of saving the world. David Patneaude’s fast moving story involves a striking cast of characters, events, and surprises that keep the pages turning. Don’t start Fast Backward until you have plenty of time. You won’t want to put it down.”—David Harrison,
Christopher Award Winner
Poet Laureate, Drury University (Missouri)
Best Books of the Year Lists, Kansas, Michigan, Arizona, Texas, South Dakota, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia
Bank Street College Best Books of the Year List
Cybils Award Nominee
Society of Midland Authors Award
Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best List

“Patneaude is a gifted storyteller. Fast Backward is an intriguing story filed with first love and heartbreak, war and peace, time travel, and the odd atomic bomb for good measure. Highly recommended!—Chris Bowron, bestselling author of Devil in the Grass

“Fast Backward is a high stakes thrill ride! I’ve long thought that we need more World War 2 stories and alternate history in young adult fiction, and this is both. Fans of The Man in the High Castle or Michael Grant’s Front Lines series will love Fast Backward!”—Mike Mullin, award winning author of the Ashfall series and his newest novel, Surface Tension (Tanglewood).

“Imaginative, thought-provoking, and compelling, Fast Backward draws you in to a fascinating what-if: What might have happened if the Nazis got the bomb in time to win the war? And what if a traveler from the future gave us the chance to avert that disaster? Hurtling head-first into this challenge are lively, likeable Bobby and Cocoa, the intriguing girl who materializes out of thin desert air. But why should anyone believe two teenagers?”—Dori Jones Yang, journalist and author of Daughter of Xanadu and The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball

“David Patneaude's frightening ‘What if?’ alternative history will have young readers turning pages to find out what happens next and also turning to history books to educate themselves about the horrors of World War II. What an accomplishment!”—Carl Deuker, award winning author of numerous celebrated novels for young adults, including Heart of a Champion, Swagger, and his newest, Gutless (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

“Past, present, and future collide in David Patneaude's soaring new novel of courage set at the dawn of the Atomic Age. One early morning in rural New Mexico, a pedaling paperboy named Bobby encounters a lost girl named Cocoa, and his fate--and the world's--are changed forever. Patneaude peels back the layers of history to glimpse the future--but is it bright or dark? A superb, enduring book, with lots of timely reverb.”—Conrad Wesselhoeft, former New York Times writer and author of the acclaimed novels Adios Nirvana and Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

"Riveting! One of the best time travel stories I've read in a long time."—Dori Hillestad Butler, Edgar Award-winning and Seuss Award-honored author of the much-admired series King and Kayla, The Buddy Files, and The Haunted Library

Briar’s Books:

Fast Backward by David Patneaude is a beautiful war story that is perfect for a younger generation!

I really liked this novel! Typically, war novels are not my forte but David makes this novel fun to read. Not only does it introduce some of the actual history of WW2, but it also gives insight into other possibilities. Honestly, if my grade 10 history class had made us read something like this, I probably would have been more into history.

I'm not sure whether to label this a Young Adult or New Adult novel. I think pre-teens all the way up to adults would like this book. But if I'm being specific, it seems like it is written for Young and New Adults in particular. It's a more PG version of war, which can introduce a larger target audience into the events of the second World War. It's not gory or brutal by any means, but it helps get the basic points across (family separation, death, bombs, etc). With that being said, it's not "realistic" - the brutality of war is true insanity if you've ever looked into it - but for the target audience, I think it's just enough introduction to what the real horrors were so if they were interested, they could then go and read more about it.

If I delve a little more into the book, I really liked the characters! Bobby/Robert was an excellent character to follow and Cocoa was the perfect companion! The relationship between all of the characters seem sincere and not forced. You can tell that David put effort into building his characters and working into them into the story. Additionally, the story arcs these characters follow build across the novel instead of just suddenly happening.

The finale of the novel ends with a nice, full circle ending. It addresses comments from the beginning of the book and finishes the story to a nice end. There's no cliff hangers or plots left unanswered. I loved that part of the book with each end tying up well!

My last little comments:
Aesthetically, I really liked the font of the chapter numbers. This might not stay the same to the final version (I had a PDF copy), but I thought it really complimented the book.

The Andrews Sisters reference was FANTASTIC! I love Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. I have a crazy fondness for older music, so this reference probably made this ensure book 100x better for me.

“Overall, this book is top tier! It's addicting, fast paced, and tells a beautiful story I think everyone should read! I really hope more people read this book!!!

Five out of five stars!”

message 2: by David (new) - added it

David Patneaude | 9 comments Another sparkling review on Amazon today. And it wasn't even by my mom!

message 3: by David (new) - added it

David Patneaude | 9 comments Happiness is when your book gets a review that’s not only strong but also strongly insightful, one that absolutely “gets” the story’s narrative approach and character nuances and subtle stuff hanging out between the lines. Here’s an example, a recent Amazon review from reader E.J. Helmon:

“Do you believe how fast you power through a book, and how much sleep you’re willing to forego to finish it, is any indication of how engrossing and emotionally wracking the book is? Me, too.

“Set in the high New Mexican desert in 1945, Fast Backward gives the reader a front-row seat to an unforgettable historical event before David Patneaude, the author, expertly crafts a revisionist reality far scarier than the actual final months of WWII. A fantastical event introduces the teenage boy and girl in this heartwarming tale of unwavering support, budding love, living one’s principles no matter the cost amidst civil liberties torn asunder. When this book was a tiny seed in the author’s mind, he couldn’t have foreseen how much those liberties would actually be ripped at the last two years.

“Patneaude has crafted a nail-biter for a book largely about waiting: waiting for the next horrific news, waiting for a memory that could save millions of lives, waiting for the government to take the protagonists parents away, ‘for their own good’, waiting for this mysterious girl to care for the protagonist the way he cares for her. As well as the alternative history is done, it’s the relationships that carry Fast Backward. Every character is indelible-from the man who delivers the newspapers, to the girl plopped in a foreign place, to the caring loving parents, to Lolly, the family dog. You’ll recognize and relate to the concerns, fears and joys of each of them. After all, they’re our concerns, fears and joys.”

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